Donald Trump, the hipster candidate

To really get the full flavor of this stupidity, you have to ask a Trump supporter what he or she thinks Trump would do differently than any other GOP candidate. That’s when you get some really impressive deep thinking, in non-sequiturs like “he has balls” or “he’d change everything.” Combine this with the false sense of personal connection bred by reality TV, and the effect is lethal. A guy in a New Hampshire focus group last month actually pointed to this babbling, foul-mouthed, billionaire New York real estate and casino baron and said: “He’s just like us.” That’s the kind of dumb that would be prohibited by international agreement if Iran made it in a centrifuge.

That last point illustrates an appalling paradox. Trump’s supporters are resolutely oblivious to the fact that they are cheering on a wealthy landlord who hobnobs with the very elite—like the Clintons—they hate. They’re so mesmerized by Trump’s middle finger that it never occurs them that this is a man who is known for how he openly detests ordinary people just like them. They want to believe he’s on their side, when in fact he wouldn’t deign to set foot in their homes if he were on fire and they had the world’s last bucket of water.

The people who think Trump is going to send all the Mexicans home while threatening Chinese leaders with the old ring-a-ding-ding if they don’t knock off the trade malarkey are hopeless, and beyond argument. There are, however, people who support Donald Trump who are competent human beings, who love their kids, are nice to their neighbors, and who hold jobs and run businesses. Some of them are our friends and relatives. For the people who support Trump for reasons other than because they think reality television is reality, the problem is not a generalized stupidity but an abysmal lack of political literacy.

It doesn’t take a very long conversation with a Trump supporter to realize that, in the main, these are people who have no idea how their own government works. They are flatly ignorant of the basics not only of the Constitution, but of how things occur in Washington on a daily basis. The changes these people demand are beyond anything any party can deliver, politically or even legally.

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